The National Rifle Association’s Executive Vice President has picked-up on the firearm-shaped ball kicked in play by the Washington Times, played with it a bit, and handed it back to the players on the field. In an editorial on the NRA’s home page, Wayne LaPierre attacks Chicago’s highly restrictive gun control legislation [full text below]. But the politically savvy Mr. LaPierre avoids joining the the Times’ call for increased minority gun ownership. Instead, he accuses the city of not enforcing existing laws, allowing violent criminals onto the street. And why is that, then? LaPierre leaves that one well alone. And leaves it to his readers to connect the dots between calling for a repeal of The Windy City’s gun regs and the rising tide of gang violence.

What do you do when you’re the mayor of one of America’s biggest cities, and gang violence is once again threatening to overtake your community? If you’re Richard Daley, you call a press conference and announce you want to sue American firearms manufacturers in the World Court. It’s just the latest desperate maneuver for one of the country’s staunchest supporters of gun control.

Recently, two Illinois representatives called for the governor to intervene in Chicago by calling out the National Guard. There needs to be an intervention all right, but it’s Mayor Daley who needs it. Someone needs to have the guts to tell him what he refuses to acknowledge: He’s lost the war on gangs. He’s been trying the same gun-control schemes for decades, and they don’t work.

It’s just the latest desperate maneuver for one of the country’s staunchest supporters of gun control. Recently, two Illinois representatives called for the governor to intervene in Chicago by calling out the National Guard. There needs to be an intervention all right, but it’s Mayor Daley who needs it. Someone needs to have the guts to tell him what he refuses to acknowledge: He’s lost the war on gangs. He’s been trying the same gun-control schemes for decades, and they don’t work.

Daley’s latest “achievement” is a law that supposedly makes unlawful use of a weapon a “non-probational offense” punishable by one to three years in jail. But Daley alluded to the real problem when he told reporters, “Unlawful use of a weapon is so common, [charges are] just thrown out. Whether it’s juveniles or young adults, they’re back right on the street … It’s treated like spitting on the sidewalk.”

Unlawful use of a firearm is common in Chicago? So Daley admits that his gun ban has been a failure, and yet I don’t hold out much hope for this new law doing much good. Chicago already has all the laws on the books that it needs to remove the violent criminals from the streets. They’re just not using them.

Take the case of Heriberto Viramontes, who is currently behind bars in Cook County, held without bail in the brutal beating of two young women. Viramontes stands accused of using a baseball bat to attack his defenseless victims, but this is just the latest arrest for the alleged gang member. In fact, the 30-year-old has been arrested 30 times before, yet only has three convictions to his name. The mother of one of his alleged victims recently told a newspaper, “What’s really upsetting is this guy has a 13-page rap sheet. He is a gang-banger. Why was he not put away a long time ago? If he had been, maybe this wouldn’t have happened to my daughter.”

Targeting the legal gun owners and manufacturers in this country won’t do anything to stem the tide of violence on Chicago’s streets. The answer is simple: Go after the violent criminals, don’t let them plea bargain their crimes down to a slap on the wrist, and take them off of the streets for as long as the law allows.

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